Silent Hill

While I don’t have much time to play videogames, Silent Hill is one of my favorite videogame franchises of all time. It’s creepy, atmospheric, and incredibly well written. And it has some of the most complex and tridimensional main characters I’ve ever seen in a videogame. So I was quite happy (if a bit surprised) when it won my biweekly fanart poll. (If you want to vote on those, just hit like to my facebook page on the right column. I post them every two Sundays)

“Have you seen a little girl? Short, black hair? Just turned seven last month?

Good ol’ Harry Manson. While he wasn’t the first one to step on the horrors that live in Silent Hill as far as the in-universe story goes, he was the very first one we met. He was our guide into the town, back when graphics were clunky and the fact that we couldn’t see very far into the streets was more of a lucky bug than a feature.

I love him not just because he’s quite hands on in the fight (Seriously, he is far better with the pipe than with the shotgun), but because he’s the best father in the world. Nothing will make him stop looking for his daughter, not even the demons from hell.

“Mary… could you really be in this town?”

James Sunderland is probably the best known survivor of Silent Hill. I mean, his personal boogeyman has become the unofficial mascot of the franchise, appearing even in games where he has no right to appear given his origin (yes, I am talking about Pyramid Head. I kinda love-hate the guy).

What I really like about him is that his sense of guilt is palpable even before you learn the whole story and that his trip to Silent Hill, despite being quite disconnected from the first game, tells us so much about the quiet, weird little town.

“Okay, I will. I love you too, Dad.”

Heather Manson has the honor of being the only female main character in Silent Hill. Every other game has a male character as the main, even if there are some amazing female secondary characters (And at least in Downpour, you can play as one of them in the main game too! Even if it’s just for a little bit), but Heather has the chance to grab her fate by the hands and beat it to death with a bat. I adore her, and I wish there were more girls and women like her in videogames in general. And of course, in Silent Hill.

“Five days ago… That’s when I first had the nightmare. I haven’t been able to get out of my room since then.”

I have to admit, I am not that familiar with Henry. This is because I have never had a chance to play Silent Hill: The Room. Still, I have watched enough Let’s Plays to know I’d love to play it.

I just feel that, with videogames, you don’t really know the character until you have had the chance to actually control it and play them, to feel what they feel and the anxiousness that the situation brings to them. On the other hand, I have to admit that since I don’t like to leave my apartment a lot, if I was in his shoes i’d take my sweet own time to realize I couldn’t leave.

“Why did nobody help her? You all left that girl to burn!”

Travis is the other Silent Hill character I haven’t been able to play personally, but he has won me over through Let’s plays. Unlike the others, who are drawn to the town through their own demons, mistakes, and their past, he runs into town headfirst to help a complete stranger. Sure, later on the town goes out of its way to bring painful memories and show how damaged he is, but the first thing that got him there was the desire to help a girl who needed him. And that makes me think he’s a bigger hero than what he gets credit for.

“Sometimes I wonder how things would have turned out if I were born into a different family…”

Alex Shepherd, on the other hand, is that one character that I love to play, but he frustrates me to death. I just can’t with the first monster. Yes, his story is amazing (A friend played the game while I drew, sort of a personal Let’s Play), but man, he’s really hard to play!

I love the midngames the game plays with his backstory, and man, his family is so twisted. To be honest, the only thing I personally dislike of Silent Hill: Homecoming is Pyramid Head’s cameo.

“I never hurt anybody that didn’t deserve it. And I sure as hell never hurt any kids. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.”

Speaking about mindgames, holy moley, there’s Murphy Pendelton’s story. I adore Downpour because it cements Silent Hill as a purgatory of sorts. And the fact that you don’t know the truth behind Murphy’s actions or the reason why he is being punished so hard by the town until the very end, makes it even more intriguing. Add to that the fact that you get small homages to all the games previous, and Downpour is a winner for me. I know people dislike it for being made in the USA rather than in Japan, but if you haven’t, you should play it.

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